PD Ports has continued to demonstrate its commitment to the local community, donating £50,000 to various charities and initiatives across the UK throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
During December, the port operator has made £40,000 worth of donations to both local and national causes from Teesport down to the Isle of Wight, reinforcing its recently bestowed ‘UK Business Hero’ title as awarded by the British Chamber of Commerce.
The donations build on the £10,000 already donated by PD Ports at the height of the pandemic, and CEO Frans Calje explained how he hopes that the latest donations will help to spread festive joy and cheer as well as providing much needed support and funding at the end of a difficult year.
“We recognise the challenges, particularly economically, that the pandemic has brought and also the impact that such challenges have on our mental health,” said Frans.
“We sincerely hope that these donations can lessen the burden on the most vulnerable in our local communities and enable people nationwide to enjoy the Christmas period without worry.”
The Tech for Kids fund in Middlesbrough, led by Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, received a £5,000 donation towards the provision of laptops and various other technologies. This will enable disadvantaged schoolchildren to continue their studies at home in 2021 as the pandemic continues to impose restrictions on classroom learning.
Middlesbrough Mayor, Andy Preston said: “This has been the toughest of years for so many, so it’s fantastic to see a prominent Middlesbrough company showing such compassion and generosity to those less fortunate.
“It’s hugely impressive to see PD Ports showing such leadership at such a difficult time to support struggling local charities such as Zoë’s Place and the Philanthropic Foundation.”
After a year of placing renewed importance on the signs, symptoms and solutions to mental health issues, PD Ports also donated £5,000 to the Headlight Project, set up in memory of Russ Devereux, to support the work the project does in building emotional resilience in schoolchildren.
Catherine Devereux, Trustee at the Headlight Project, said, “The Headlight Project is delighted to be receiving this donation from PD Ports, and it comes at a much-needed time for the charity.
“PD Ports has placed huge emphasis on staff wellbeing this year and we have been proud to collaborate with them. This money will go towards providing counselling for children who may have suffered trauma and also towards workshops for groups of children to build confidence and emotional resilience in the Grangetown area, which is close to Teesport.
“I want to extend my thanks to PD Ports, on behalf of all of the Headlight team, for helping us carry on this important work in our local area. We look forward to continuing to work together in the future.”
Middlesbrough based Moses Project was also in receipt of a £5,000 donation for its fantastic work supporting adult males with past and current addictions, as well as mental health issues – a subject PD Ports is working tirelessly to tackle.
Brian Jones, CEO at the Moses Project, said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of PD Ports and explained how the donation will go towards helping battle food poverty, as well as helping those battling addictions.
“The money that has been donated will help us to help families battling food poverty and the client group we work with who are battling their addictions, often homeless and who suffer from food poverty.
“We cannot express our thanks enough for PD Ports helping us to continue in our work and help so many people especially at this time of year. Together we are making a difference.”
A cause also close to many hearts within PD Ports, especially at Teesport, is the UK’s only baby-specific hospice, Zoë’s Place, which has three hospices across the UK including one in Middlesbrough.
The charity has received a £3,500 donation to enable the continued provision of palliative, respite and end-of-life care to babies and infants suffering from life-threatening or life-limiting conditions.
Sara Benson, Corporate and Major Donor Fundraiser at Zoë’s Place, expressed their delight at the donation and told how it comes at a fantastic time after a challenging year for the charity.
“The support PD Ports has shown Zoë’s Place this Christmas with their £3,500 donation means so much to everyone that comes through the doors here,” said Sara.
“It currently costs the charity £25 per child per hour to provide the vital care and support our families have come to rely on. Based on this, PD Ports have granted a phenomenal 140 hours of care to babies and infants – plus their families – suffering from life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.
“This is an incredible amount of money which will go such a long way, and for that we will be forever grateful. So, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.”
Age UK Teesside have also had a particularly tough year with the COVID-19 crisis leaving a whole generation of older people in isolation, unable to see their families or meet new people.
Anne Sykes, Chief Executive Age UK Teesside, told how the £3,000 donated from PD Ports will enable them to provide small luxuries for those most isolated over Christmas.
“Age UK Teesside are delighted to be supported by PD Ports this Christmas,” said Anne.
“The donation will directly benefit the older people in our communities, helping us to support the most isolated and alone at this particularly lonely time of year by providing little luxuries to enjoy over the festive period.
“We are very lucky to have such a great company recognising the good work that is being done by local charities.”
As well as local causes, donations were also made to national charities that sit close to the port operator’s heart including The British Heart Foundation, Cash for Kids, Brain Tumour Charity and Help for Heroes.